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10-12-2012, 10:25 AM
Mike Farkas
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
If that were the case, players would switch wings all the time, no big deal. Yet almost all of them (including Kozhevnikov) show clear limitations as to what positions they can play.

You want to take a guy who never demonstrably played RW and put him at RW on your first line? Be my guest.
Well, in one clip, Kozhevnikov is carrying the puck up the right side of the rink into the offensive zone. So, he's allowed over there and he's not allergic to it. We obviously don't have nearly as much information about the Russians (renegade or otherwise) but to think the difference would be that great for Kozhevnikov or any other Soviet (given their teachings) would be rather misleading. It was already explained why players don't switch wings very often in North American hockey - handedness, coupled with the board play that is more common in our game. I'm so comfortable with Kozhevnikov at right wing that I actually think it's an advantage to have his lethal, off-wing shot over there (given, again, how he - personally - was developed)...but that's a matter for the courts I guess.

This would make a good thread. Both of those eras were characterized by violent incidents. I'd argue that the 70s were more violent on a night-by-night basis, whereas the early era was prone to isolated incidents that were almost comically violent (ie, Cleghorn beating the tar out of Hooley Smith at a restaurant after the game, players getting in stick fights with fans, etc). Any way you want to look at it, both eras were a bit out of control.
Certainly. I just felt that borderline-maiming was more commonplace in the early eras and therefore, more was expected to be allowed. I read a game summary once that involved a player stomping another player's leg with his skate and received a "stern warning" from the referee to not do that anymore... They certainly both have their aspects of the wild and woolly variety.

See his bio. He was, by far, the #1 minute muncher on a division winner and conference champion.
Saw his bio, looked at his ice time. I would feel more comfortable seeing more PK time if I was to believe his defense was the main reason he was out there for that time. He had to see some good talent if he was playing over 20 minutes per night, certainly, but I'm not sure he was renowned for his defensive ability in the process. Or else he would have been used in situations that warrant such.

Brown paired with Howell when he won the Norris and Park when he was runner-up to Orr. And he even pulled down some Norris and AS votes (marginal totals, mind you) despite playing on the same pairing as Norris contenders. So clearly he was not only up against top competition, but looked pretty good to the writers.
Very good then, I didn't doubt that if Brown was paired with those guys that he would have seen some skill. I was just wondering how often that happened. He sounds quite valuable.

Obviously your team is more defensively inclined, and mine is more offensively inclined. No question about that. But when the roles are reversed -- when my team is asked to play defense, and yours is asked to play offense -- my team is demonstrably deeper and more capable of playing effectively in both directions.
"deeper" seems to be used in an offensive context. I don't see it that way and maybe I'm alone, which is fine. But, I see a team with three extremely capable defensive lines and given this team's structure, it would be tough for any opposing offense to wade through this...which is by design. I don't view the game really as one-way-at-a-time, "asked to play offense" then "asked to play defense" - just a philosophical difference I suppose.

Take your defense corps for example. Obviously Campbell and Tallon can move the puck, and Brydge is an adequate support scorer. But Traub, Trapp and Graham are offensive non-factors. Being in the 5-10 range among WCHL defensemen among a bunch of never-drafteds and A-level guys doesn't cut it at this level. Literally half your defense is going to struggle to move the puck.
This is just flat out incorrect. I welcome you to read Graham's new bio:

Trapp regarded as one of the top d-men in hockey for a time and can do just fine with or without the puck:

Traub was probably not an astute puck-mover, I'll grant you that much, but it's hardly noteworthy.

So, take it on balance. My defense is much better rounded offensively, and respectable defensively. Yours is much stronger in their own end, but there are holes in their ability to get the puck up the ice. What happens when these teams collide? Possession time starts to tilt toward the group that is actually able to do something with the puck when they get it.
I don't agree that you will have more possession time for starters. Why would you? This is going to be chippy, chippy hockey. Line after line of defensive stalwarts and physical forwards backed by a mobile, physical and more-than-defensively capable backline and guys like Nilsson and Juneau are going to keep the puck? This puck will be stuck to the boards the entire game by my forwards who can manufacture offense off the cycle. This won't be an open-air series. There won't be room to breathe out there - especially for smallish offensive players, if they're out there...too much smarts, too much defensive anticipation, too much ground being covered at once by my team for it to be anything but a chippy series...won't be a lot of flow to it...which is a sizeable advantage to me.

I'm not sure how you're envisioning this defensive scheme, but this won't be a 60-minute penalty kill by any means...I hope you have guys that can score from 70 feet out on the boards because that's going to be the only space alloted really, it's going to be relentless because everyone can help basically...I just can't fathom how your offense won't be heavily disrupted and interrupted in all of this, how on earth are these guys going to keep the puck on their sticks for long enough to use their offensive skill. It'll be suffocating. As it has been during the regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs...

I just wonder how your players will respond in the transition of things. When your guys inevitably turn the puck over (which should happen rather often, I'm not sure I see a lot of "possession bulls" out there, and that doesn't seem to be your team's style really anyway, and Campbell or Graham or Tallon rev it up the other way, how willing a backchecker are some of these forwards gonna be on your side? How positionally ready will Maxwell or Guevremont be? They're gonna be eager to move forward with the play, they'll come flying in, just to see Juneau lose it at the blueline...that's a lot of skates now headed the wrong way...we might not have a ton of firepower, but you give any team enough odd-man rushes and they'll figure a way to get the puck in the net...

I don't doubt it will be close, as most defensive teams are involved in close, low-scoring tilts...but it's going to be messy, a choppy, and tactical. I don't think that's to your team's strengths. If I had one line of shutdown players and one shutdown pairing...sure, you got me on offense, you win. But it's just not like that. And the voters have recognized so far that my games are no-holds-barred grudge matches played seemingly in slush rather than on top of ice.

We'll see if they stick to their guns, and stick to the age-old adages involving defensive play and winning, in what should be a very good series.

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